Professional / Education Essay

Importance of Assessment in Inclusive Education

Today, over 90 million children live with one disability or the other. (UNICEF) However, regardless of these disabilities, these children have dreams and ambitions for their tomorrow. As such, it is necessary to equip them, irrespective of these disabilities, with quality education to enable them to develop skills that allow them to reach their potentials.

Unfortunately, these children are usually overlooked by policymakers, thus limiting their opportunities to quality education and participation in economic, political, and social life. Even more, they face discrimination and stigma, thanks to the failure of policymakers to integrate disability in educational services. It is in this light that the clamor for inclusive education has become prominent in recent times. (UNICEF)

Still, an essential aspect of engaging and providing inclusive education is assessments. It involves gathering reports on the development process of students. However, this process can be challenging due to the unique needs of these students. In this light, this essay examines the importance of assessment in inclusive education in a bid to justify efforts aimed at practical assessments.

The concept of inclusive education is where every student, irrespective of their challenges, is allowed access to education within the same classroom and the same schools. Noteworthy, this extends beyond children with disabilities to as far as children who have been traditionally excluded over time. For instance, children of minority languages. (McManis)

As such, inclusive education involves a process wherein students across different backgrounds are enabled to grow and learn together, to the advantage of all. Noteworthy, this will require the training of teachers, refurbishment of buildings, and the creation of materials in accessible formats to the traditionally excluded groups. In the same vein, there will be a need for a reorientation of the public to avoid discrimination against these excluded groups. (McManis)

Similarly, this concept operates on the core notion that the traditionally excluded students possess as much fundamental competence as those without disabilities. As such, every student can fully participate in the learning process within the same classroom and school community. Hence, it is premised on understanding, accepting, and attending to all students irrespective of diversity and differences. (McManis)

Noteworthy, the goal is to ensure that every student feels welcomed and supported regardless of their physical, academic, emotional, social, and cognitive differences. As such, it involves establishing a universal learning environment for the student regardless of their backgrounds and abilities. (McManis)

Scope of Assessment

The idea of assessment involves the systematic attempt at collecting data about students’ achievements. As such, it involves a process through which teachers ascertain through data collated whether students have gained the necessary and intended knowledge, skills, and habits. (Galevska et al., 2018)

Noteworthy, assessment may be standardized or formative, with the former involving a formal assessment process. As such, standardized assessments usually involve standard and written tests. On the other hand, formative is informal and is more relevant to the aim of inclusive education. (Gillies, 2014)

Formative assessments involve those assessments designed to provide teachers with information about what their students understand, areas of difficulties, and process of adjustment or improvement to cover the identified difficulties. Noteworthy, instructors can carry out this assessment through various means such as productive questioning, comments-only marking, self-assessment, student-peer appraisal, and informing students about the requirement for success. (Gillies, 2014)

Similarly, this assessment model, which involves the teacher, learner, and peer, can be categorized into five steps. First, it involves clarifying the learning intentions while also identifying the criteria for excellence. Second, it involves engendering effective classroom interactions and discussions, including other learning activities that establish student understanding. (Gillies, 2014)

Third, it involves the provision of feedback by the instructor, which empowers the student to move forward. Fourth, it involves employing learners as instructional assets for each other. Finally, it involves activating learners as leaders of their learning process. (Gillies, 2014)

Without a doubt, assessment is vital in education, thanks to the integral part it plays in good teaching. This is because it involves identifying the weaknesses and strengths of a student, thus enabling improvement. However, beyond this, it plays a prominent role in inclusive education. This is because it establishes a metric to determine whether the learning activities satisfy the educational standards and goals. (Gillies, 2014)

Further, assessment is of great importance in inclusive education as it plays a significant role in informing the necessity of interventions for learners who require special needs. As such, through assessments, stakeholders and instructors can identify existing impact areas and lacking areas that require further intervention. (Gillies, 2014)

From the preceding, assessment is at the root of efforts aimed at promoting inclusive education. This is because it is only through the assessment process that instructors and teachers can ascertain the reality and level of inclusion. In turn, instructors and stakeholders can utilize this information to create adjustments to the programs that will make leaning more useful for target students and, as such, promote inclusion. (Gillies, 2014)

Again, assessment is crucial because it enables the screening and recognition of students who may be facing challenges in learning. Naturally, without assessment, it becomes impossible to identify the degree of exclusion and, as such, effectively promote inclusion. In the same vein, it allows specific diagnosis of the problem statement such that instructors can undertake target efforts or campaigns which are usually more effective. (Gillies, 2014)

Although disability poses a significant barrier to access to education, promoting inclusive education across climes represents a viable solution. However, to promote inclusive education, the assessment process must be right; without it, the assessment will only occasion more discrimination. As such, more than ever, the importance of assessment in inclusive education is brought to limelight.

In this light, it becomes necessary to adopt an informal and individualized educational scheme that promotes apt assessments. This way, assessments can be valid, reliable, and appropriate such that it can further promote inclusive education. (Galevska et al.Importance of Assessment in Inclusive Education, 2018)

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